This morning started out early in Adelaide. I waled the half block from the nest to the Railroad station to pick up a taxi. I got to the airport at about 8 for my 9:30 flight, turns out that was quite a bit earlier than I needed to be there. Checking in was super easy, and security was a breeze. I didn't have to pull out my ID once which felt a little strange but no worries mate. I slept on the plane until we started descending into Sydney and hit some crazy turbulence. We didn't really see any of the sights as the plane came in but we could see some of the beaches which were quite pretty. I picked up my bag and jumped into a cab to my hostel. I'm staying in a ten person room. People's stuff is all over the place but it'll be a fine place to call home for 4 nights. I dropped my luggage off and put some things in a locker and headed out the door to go exploring.
I had decided to go to the aquarium to get a preview for my dive trip. The aquarium is in Darling Harbor which is on the western side of Sydney. When I got to the harbor, I was greeted by a giant rubber duck! It's an art piece ready to celebrate Australia Day which is on the 26th of January. I walked down the harbor to get to the aquarium and it reminded me a lot of the wharf area in Capetown. Lots of restaurants and small shops that are tourist traps. The aquarium was at the far end of the harbor.
It's an okay aquarium, not worth how much the tickets cost though. I heard a presentation about platypus' which were funny looking and much smaller than I thought. They're endangered and need protecting. There were lots of exhibits of turtles and fish. Lots of Dorrie's but not so many Nemo's. There were a couple of cool walk through tunnel things with fish, sharks, and rays swimming over you. There were also Dugongs which are these giant mammals (I think) that eat lettuce and are huge. They're closely related to elephants. Apparently there are only 6 on display in captivity in the world and the Sydney Aquarium has two of them so that was pretty cool. I made it through the entire aquarium in about 2 hours.
I decided to keep walking towards King's Wharf because my map said there's a Sydney Observatory that's free. King's Wharf was more restaurants and then I happened upon a GIANT cruise ship, the Sea Princess or something which was just getting ready to set off. I watched the tugboat get set up and start to pull the ship off the side. Then I headed down the Barangaroo Path towards Circular Quay. The path was 3.2km along the water. The Sea Princess got to the Harbor bridge just as I did and it was cool to see. Then, I turned around and literally gasped as I caught my first sight of the opera house through some trees. I continued my walk along the water passing The Rocks, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and several street performers including an Aboriginal playing a didgereedoo! I also passed no fewer than 5 wedding parties having their pictures taken. I continued my walk around Circular Quay and made it to the famous Opera House. It's absolutely gorgeous! There are all sorts of bars and restaurants at the base of the opera house which looked like a lot of fun because they were outside on the water and were full of energy, but I was definitely underdressed. It is Saturday evening after all. I continued my walk into the Royal Botanic Gardens. I walked the whole way around the edge along the water, it was very pretty, I'll have to go back and actually go inside the gardens. I probably took 50 pictures of the same view- the opera house and the bridge together, it's just so pretty. I continued my walk back to the hostel and had dinner at a little dive place in Potts Point, the neighborhood the hostel is in. Now I'm back at the Blue Parrot Backpackers and I'm completely beat so I'm going to take a shower and hop into bed.
The docket for tomorrow is Harbor Cruise, Opera House Tour, and climbing the Harbor Bridge!